Seeds of the mangel may be sown in central New York from May 1 to June 1, with expectation of a good crop. Late frosts do not endanger the young plants; and if the ground is in good condition the earlier they are sown in the month of May, the longer the growing season will be. They are not seriously affected by dry weather if given good tillage. They are mature enough to harvest by October 1, and may be allowed to remain in the ground until November 1 with safety. Hard freezing weather damages the part of the root that stands above ground, and therefore it is safe to have them harvested before November.
Seeds of carrots are slow to germinate, and must be planted near the surface of the ground. It is essential to have the best of soil and weather conditions for them. From May 20 to June 20 inclusive would be the proper time for sowing carrots in this latitude. They do not make much growth until the heat of summer is past. The seedlings are very feeble, and require much hand tillage; but after harvest time is over, and especially after August and September rains, carrots make vigorous growth until late in the autumn. As the root grows mainly below the surface of the ground, they need not be harvested as early as mangels. They may remain out of doors, and will continue to increase somewhat in size until the ground begins to freeze. It is better to harvest them before bad weather sets in.
Rutabagas do not require as long a season in which to mature as do carrots or mangels. They are also sensitive to drought during midsummer. In order to have them mature at a time in the autumn when they are wanted for feed or to store away for winter use, it is best to plant the seed from June 1 to 20 inclusive. The seed germinates readily, and the plants soon become large enough to till easily. From seed sown in June, the crop will usually mature by October 1, which is early enough for stock-feeding purposes. They may be left out of doors until cold weather comes, in November.
White turnips of different sorts will mature in a comparatively short time. They also are sensitive to summer drought, and therefore it is best to sow the seed fom July 20 to 30 inclusive. Even then their success is dependent very largely on the amount of moisture in the soil at the time of sowing and during the month that follows. If conditions are favorable, they will mature by November 1, and as they are not easily damaged by frost, they can be allowed to remain out of doors until freezing weather sets in.
White turnips are frequently sown as a catch-crop after a crop of early potatoes has been removed, or at the last cultivation of a field of corn which has been planted early. Sown in this way, the cost of growing them is low and consistent with their value for feeding purposes.
Of the four types of root-crops named, the mangels are the most reliable in this locality, and the carrots the most expensive to grow.